Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). There are various programmes that offer something for everybody.
I often post my 'Top 10 Picks at TIFF' but this year, I thought I'd start by highlight some films from Latin American filmmakers or highlighting Latin American culture. Some of these may not have distribution yet, and perhpaps may get easily missed. I suggest you to take a look at some; hopefully, you'll find something you like.
Dir. Julio Hernández Cordón
Countries: Guatemala / Spain / Chile / Germany
Screening Times: Sun, September 9 Cineplex Yonge & Dundas #10 at 9:45 PM
Tues, September 11 Cineplex
Yonge & Dundas #8 at 3:00 PM
Fri, September 14 Cineplex
Yonge & Dundas #3 at 2:00 PM
Synopsis: In a small Guatemalan village where many were "disappeared" during the country's civil war, a troubled young man struggles with the memory of his murdered father — and the nearby presence of the man who turned his father in.
This film tackles some serious and important issues for the Guatemalan community. Cordón's style is slow at times, which I know from having seen his film Gasolina. I believe, however, this is methodical and its aim is to mirror some of the feelings the characters may be experiencing. I am curious to see how Dust will compare and add to the current dialogue with regards to Guatemalan history and its community.
7 BOXES (7 CAJAS)
Dirs. Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schémbori
Screening Times: Fri, September 7 Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 3 at 9:00 PM
Sun, September 9 Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 8 at 7:00 PM
Sat, September 15 Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 6 at 1:00 PM
Synopis: A teenage delivery boy working in a popular Paraguayan market must dodge thieves, rival gangs and the omnipresent police when he undertakes a dangerous contract to transport a load of mysterious — and highly sought-after — crates to the edge of town.
I like the idea the directors are using Paraguay's capital, Asunción, as backdrop for what sounds like a fast-paced thriller. This is also their first feature film, hence, part of the Discovery programme. This film sounds like it would be full of twists and turns, and sometimes, we just need a good suspense thriller, right?
NIGHT ACROSS THE STREET (LA NOCHE DE ENFRENTE)
Dir. Raúl Ruiz
Countries: France / Chile
Screening Times: Sat, September 8 Isabel Bader Theatre at 6:30 PM
Fri, September 14 TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 at 9:00 AM
Sat, September 15 TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 at 9:15 PM
Synopsis: Based on Hernan del Solar’s novel, Night Across the Street is both a homecoming and a stock-taking. Set in Chile, with Spanish dialogue, this film announces itself from its opening shots of desert and ocean as a return to the place where the director was born. Drawing on his own obsessions and memories, Ruiz traverses his chosen imaginative landscape in two time periods...the present and the past.
The idea of magic realism in film is always intriguing to me. I also like films that are metaphorical or allegorical in one way or another. I think the idea that a filmmaker takes a look at his/her life in their work is also interesting. If anything, I believe this film will make you think and give you plenty to discuss with friends.
EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN (TODOS TENEMOS UN PLAN)
Dir. Ana Piterbarg
Countries: Argentina / Spain / Germany
Screening Times: Sat, September 8 Winter Garden Theatre at 4:30 PM
Mon, September 10 Scotiabank 1 at 4:00 PM
Sat, September 15 Scotiabank 2 at 6:15 PM
Synopsis: Second chances are hard-won at the best of times, but in Everybody Has a Plan, the lengths taken to achieve them are as incomparable as they are chilling. The premise of the film is grounded in this potent archetypal conflict. In his third foray into Spanish-language film, Viggo Mortensen plays twin brothers whose deadly pact plunges them into the sordid depths of the Argentine underworld.
Did the name Viggo Mortensen get my attention? Yes, I admit it. However, the fact he is working with a first-time director, Piterbarg, means he must have really wanted to do this film. I am curious as to how the film will unfold.
Dir. William Vega
Countries: Colombia / France / Mexico
Screening Times: Sun, September 9 Cineplex Yonge & Dundas #3 at 9:45 PM
Tues, September 11 Cineplex Yonge & Dundas #4 at 2:30 PM
Fri, September 14 Cineplex Yonge & Dundas #3 at 8:30 PM
Synopsis: Poetic and, deliberately paced, William Vega’s first feature La Sirga transports us to a fascinating area of Colombia that remains unknown — the remote, sparsely populated highlands of the Andes — in this drama that chronicles how the destructive effects of Colombia’s long civil war extend even to this far-flung corner of the country. With moving intimacy, Vega depicts the challenges and obstacles that face Colombia’s Indigenous population.
Another first-time director also dealing with some realistic and very important issues in South America, that of the Indigenous community. I would be interesting to see how William Vega tells the story from the eyes of a nineteen year old, young woman and through the use of metaphors as it's described in the TIFF guide.
These are but five of my suggestions for you. You can find lots more films to catch, even if last minute, at TIFF this year and don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Full festival info avail at tiff.net.